Saturday, February 11, 2012

Spanish Photographer Wins Top Photo Honors For His Veiled Yemeni Woman Cradling Near Naked Relative

This photograph garnered top honors in the World Press Photo competition.  Samuel Aranda, a Spanish photographer, took the photo in Yemen for the New York Times.

The photograph captured a moment in the conflict in Yemen, when demonstrators against outgoing president Ali Abdullah Saleh used a mosque in Sanaa as a field hospital to treat the wounded. But judges said it also spoke more broadly for the Arab Spring.

“The winning photo shows a poignant, compassionate moment, the human consequence of an enormous event, an event that is still going on,” Aidan Sullivan, chair of the jury, said of Aranda’s photograph, which won World Press Photo of the Year 2011.

“We might never know who this woman is, cradling an injured relative, but together they become a living image of the courage of ordinary people that helped create an important chapter in the history of the Middle East.”

In all its simple beauty, I also find something rather disturbing about the photograph: the near naked-man juxtaposed with the the niqab-clad woman, save for the inch of exposed wrist, which is actually forbidden. In that religious culture the man, in all his nakedness, has all the freedom, the woman covered from head to toe in black is a total non-entity.

I find it terribly sad.

Source: Al Arabiya

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